Tag Archives: The Apprentice

Trump’s star on Hollywood Walk of Fame smashed

A man who admitted to smashing Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in protest at the Republican presidential candidate’s treatment of women was arrested on Thursday, police said.

James Otis had planned to hold a news conference in the early morning at the site of Trump’s star and then surrender to police, but he was arrested beforehand.

Otis, who had his misdeed filmed on Wednesday, said he initially wanted to remove the star and auction it in New York on Election Day.

The proceeds, he said, would go to nearly a dozen women who have accused the 70-year-old Trump of sexual misconduct.

Otis ended up taking a sledgehammer and pickaxe to the star but could not totally remove the slab, as the “stone was like marble,” he told the news agency.

In a statement, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Leron Gubler said Trump’s star will be replaced immediately but must sit for a few days before it can be polished. During that time, it will be covered for protection.

The star was awarded to the billionaire businessman in 2007 for his work on his reality television show The Apprentice.

In a statement, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Leron Gubler said Trump’s star will be replaced immediately but must sit for a few days before it can be polished. During that time, it will be covered for protection.

“When people are unhappy with one of our honorees, we would hope that they would project their anger in more positive ways than to vandalize a California state landmark,” chamber head Leron Gubler said.

“Our democracy is based on respect for the law. People can make a difference by voting and not destroying public property.”

Gubler said the chamber planned to pursue the case against Otis, who was charged with one felony count of vandalism.

Nearly a dozen women have accused Trump of groping, forcibly kissing or being sexually aggressive toward them in the past.

He has denied the allegations and vowed to sue the women after the Nov. 8 election.

This is not the first time Trump’s Walk of Fame star has been targeted.

In July, a Los Angeles street artist built a tiny wall of wooden planks topped with barbed wire around it, in protest at Trump’s campaign vow to build a wall on the Mexican border.

Last year, excrement was left on the star and someone drew a large yellow X over it.

A swastika was also drawn on the red tile earlier this year.

Creep show: The terrifying candidacy of Donald Trump

Continue reading Creep show: The terrifying candidacy of Donald Trump

Trump was lewd, sexist, say ‘Apprentice’ cast and crew

Donald Trump repeatedly demeaned women with sexist language in his years as a reality TV boss, according to The Apprentice insiders who said he rated female contestants by the size of their breasts and talked about which ones he’d like to have sex with.

The Associated Press interviewed more than 20 people — former crew members, editors and contestants — who described crass behavior by Trump behind the scenes of the long-running hit show, in which aspiring capitalists were given tasks to perform as they competed for jobs working for him.

The staffers and contestants agreed to recount their experiences as Trump’s behavior toward women has become a core issue in the presidential campaign. Interviewed separately, they gave concurring accounts of inappropriate conduct on the set.

Eight former crew members recalled that he repeatedly made lewd comments about a camerawoman he said had a nice rear, comparing her beauty to that of his daughter, Ivanka.

During one season, Trump called for female contestants to wear shorter dresses that also showed more cleavage, according to contestant Gene Folkes.

Several cast members said Trump had one female contestant twirl before him so he could ogle her figure.

Randal Pinkett, who won the program in December 2005 and who has recently criticized Trump during his run for president, said he remembered the real estate mogul talking about which female contestants he wanted to sleep with, even though Trump had married former model Melania Knauss earlier that year:   “He was like ‘Isn’t she hot, check her out,’ kind of gawking, something to the effect of ‘I’d like to hit that.’”

The Trump campaign issued a general denial. “These outlandish, unsubstantiated, and totally false claims fabricated by publicity hungry, opportunistic, disgruntled former employees, have no merit whatsoever,” said Hope Hicks, Trump’s campaign spokeswoman. “The Apprentice was one of the most successful prime-time television shows of all time and employed hundreds of people over many years, many of whom support Mr. Trump’s candidacy.” She declined to answer specific questions that were emailed and declined an interview request.

Former producer Katherine Walker said Trump frequently talked about women’s bodies during the five seasons she worked with him and said he speculated about which female contestant would be “a tiger in bed.”

A former crew member who signed a non-disclosure agreement and asked not to be identified, recalled that Trump asked male contestants whether they would sleep with a particular female contestant, then expressed his own interest.

“We were in the boardroom one time figuring out who to blame for the task, and he just stopped in the middle and pointed to someone and said, ‘You’d f… her, wouldn’t you? I’d f… her. C’mon, wouldn’t you?’”

The person continued: “Everyone is trying to make him stop talking, and the woman is shrinking in her seat.”

Other cast and crew interviewed said they had positive, professional experiences with Trump, and added that they had never heard comments that made them uncomfortable.

“He was extremely supportive. You could tell there was so much respect there on all sides, especially with the female athletes,” said contestant and U.S. softball star Jennie Finch, a two-time Olympian. “Obviously, he was complimentary, but never in an inappropriate way.”

Contestant Poppy Carlig, who performed the twirl, said she considered Trump’s request “playful banter.” She added: “I don’t immediately jump to the conclusion that people are having bad intentions with what they are saying. He said I reminded him of his daughter and I thought that was really touching because I know how much he values his family.”

Twelve former contestants or members of the crew spoke on the record about what they described as Trump’s inappropriate behavior. Another nine spoke to the AP about their concerns regarding Trump’s treatment of female colleagues but said they did not want to be identified because they signed non-disclosure agreements, or were concerned about wrecking their careers or retaliation from Trump.

Most offered no opinion on the November election in the course of their interviews, but the majority of those who did said only that they were not supporting Trump.

Trump points to his record of hiring women, but he has often been accused of sexist behavior; at the first Republican debate, in August 2015, Fox anchor Megyn Kelly asked whether a man who has called women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals” has the temperament to be president. After that debate, Trump attacked Kelly and her questioning, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.”

The remarks of former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, who said Trump called her “Miss Piggy” because she’d gained weight during her reign, became campaign fodder last week following the first presidential debate. Trump used to own the pageant.

NBC, which broadcast the hit series, referred questions to executive producer Mark Burnett, whose studio referred calls to a public relations firm. The public relations firm did not respond to multiple voicemails and emails seeking comment. AP previously asked Burnett to provide original footage for review, but those calls were not returned.

Debuting in 2004, The Apprentice and a spinoff, Celebrity Apprentice, propelled Trump to national stardom following a string of bankruptcies and bad business deals in the 1990s that had splintered his New York-based real estate empire. The series, meant to showcase Trump’s business acumen, became a major hit and Trump’s name became a global brand that helped launch his political career.

But on the set, usually inside Trump Tower, the former cast and crew members say, the businessman’s treatment of women was sometimes far from professional.

Walker, who said she was the only high-level female producer during the first season, said Trump turned to her during a break outside of the control room to ask who he should fire. Walker demurred, she said, but noted that team members had told her one contestant had caused her team to lose their business task. Trump raised his hands and cupped them to his chest to ask whether it was a contestant with large breasts, she said.

“He said, ‘You mean the one with the’ _ and he puts his hands out in a gesture to signal the girl with the giant boobs. He didn’t even know her name,” Walker said, adding that the contestant, Kristi Frank, was fired at the end of the episode.

“I thought he noticed my hard work, but I guess he didn’t,” said Frank, a former restaurant owner who studied industrial engineering.

She said that after Trump delivered his punch line “You’re fired!” he told her fiance that “of all the girls,” she was the contestant he would have chosen to marry.

“It makes me a little sick,” Frank said. “It’s kind of sweet, but it makes me feel like ‘OK, he’s checking me out again.””

In portions of boardroom sessions never broadcast, Trump frequently would ask male contestants to rate the attractiveness of their female competitors, former crew members and contestants said.

“If there was a break in the conversation, he would then look at one of the female cast members, saying ‘you’re looking kind of hot today, I love that dress on you,’ then he would turn to one of the male cast members and say ‘wouldn’t you sleep with her?’ and then everyone would laugh,” said a former crew member who spoke on condition of anonymity because of a non-disclosure agreement. “There would be about 10 or 12 cameras rolling and getting that footage, which is why everybody was like, this guy just doesn’t care.”

Trump would carry on with the questions even if all involved were married, said Gene Folkes, who appeared on the program in 2010.

“If you didn’t answer, he would dig in and say, ‘Do you think so and so is attractive? Would you sleep with her? Well, what about if you really had to, would you?’” Folkes said. “It was so bizarre, because he (otherwise) seemed so professional.”

Folkes said he also remembered that Trump “asked one of the women their breast size at one point, or said, ‘are those real or natural?””

Jim Dowd, who did public relations for Trump, NBC and The Apprentice shows between 2003 and 2009, said Trump was a “lover of women” and a “guy’s guy.”

“Was he complimenting the women? Of course. Was he behind closed doors with just the guys rating the women, who were the hotter ones on the show? Yes, he certainly was prone to that,” Dowd said.

“I never heard him say anything about women’s bodies, but he was definitely unscripted,” said former producer Michael Dietz.

Eight former crew members said Trump took a fancy to a particular female camera operator, and frequently gave her attention that made many on the set feel uncomfortable. Two former crew members said the woman made it clear to them privately that she did not like Trump’s comments.

Walker, the former producer, said it was clear Trump was attracted to the camera operator as far back as 2003.

“He said something like she was cute and she had a nice ass, and it was brought to my attention by someone else that he had a crush on her,” Walker said. “We all knew, so that’s uncomfortable in and of itself. I remember it being too much, that he made it obvious.”

Rebecca Arndt, a camera assistant who worked on the show following Trump’s 2005 marriage, said Trump would stop production to make comments about the camera operator’s looks in front of the crew.

“I remember being in the foyer once with eight or 10 cameras set up and he said something about her being so pretty,” Arndt said. “He would make it about his line of sight, like ‘There is a beautiful woman behind that camera, so I only want to look at that.’ It was supposed to be considered a compliment, but of course it was inappropriate.”

German Abarca, another former camera operator, said most of the camera crew knew that Trump was attracted to their colleague.

Abarca said the woman was the frequent subject of ribbing by others in the crew, almost all of whom were much younger than Trump. “I think she mostly tried to ignore it.”

Arndt said that Trump would publicly discuss the woman’s beauty and how her blue eyes and blonde hair compared to his daughter Ivanka’s looks.

“He would just mention it all the time. I remember him comparing Ivanka to her and saying that only Ivanka was prettier,” she said.

The woman did not respond to a voicemail seeking comment. The AP spoke in person twice with her husband, who said his wife did not wish to be interviewed, “doesn’t have a problem with Donald Trump” and denied she had been subjected to repeated, unwanted attention from Trump.

One former contestant, Tyana Alvarado, said she wasn’t offended when Trump told her she was attractive — but noted that he played by his own rules.

“Most men have to behave because they are in a workplace, but he could do what he wanted,” Alvarado said. “In all jobs, people have to sign sexual harassment paperwork, but Mr. Trump was putting on a TV show so he got to do it.”

Right-wing confab dumps Trump for blaming tough debate questions on moderator’s menstrual cycle

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump said Friday he can’t recall using words such as “dog,” ‘’fat” and “disgusting” to insult women he believes have slighted him, but such language litters his Twitter feed and other public comments he’s made for years.

The issue took center stage at the first Republican debate of the 2016 campaign for president, when Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly asked Trump about his use of such language and whether it reflected the “temperament of a man we should elect as president.”

Trump largely dismissed Kelly’s question at the debate, but on Friday he went directly after her.

Before dawn, he had retweeted a post calling Kelly a “bimbo.” The post was later deleted, but on Friday evening Trump called Kelly a “lightweight.”

“She’s not very tough and not very sharp,” Trump said during a phone interview on CNN. “I don’t respect her as a journalist.”

Referring to Kelly’s questions during the debate, Trump said, “There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”

Citing that remark, conservative commentator Erick Erickson said he was withdrawing his invitation for Trump to appear at his RedState Gathering in Atlanta on Saturday. “I just don’t want someone on stage who gets a hostile question from a lady and his first inclination is to imply it was hormonal,” Erickson wrote on the RedState website Friday night. “It just was wrong.”

Trump’s campaign responded: “This is just another example of weakness through being politically correct. For all of the people who were looking forward to Mr. Trump coming, we will miss you. Blame Erick Erickson, your weak and pathetic leader.”

In a series of interviews earlier Friday on network television, the billionaire businessman questioned whether he had actually used the words as Kelly had alleged during the debate.

“You know, some of the statements she made about the women, I don’t recognize those words whatsoever,” Trump said on ABC’s Good Morning America. We’re going to take a very serious look at it.”

But his political adviser Roger Stone recognized Trump’s misogynistic insults. He immediately quit Trump’s campaign in the wake of outrage over Trump’s remarks, becoming the second top-level staffer to quit the fledgling campaign.

Trump has a long history of lobbing insults at those he feels have treated him unfairly, and advises those who buy his books to do the same.

“For many years I’ve said that if someone screws you, screw them back,” he wrote in Trump: How to Get Rich. When somebody hurts you, just go after them as viciously and as violently as you can.”

When doing so, he has repeatedly targeted women and their physical appearance.

“Rosie O’Donnell’s disgusting, I mean both inside and out. You take a look at her, she’s a slob. She talks like a truck driver,” he said in 2006 during an interview with “Entertainment Tonight.” ‘’I’d look her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I’d say, ‘Rosie, you’re fired” from her television show The View.

During the debate, Trump acknowledged making such comments — but only about O’Donnell. When Kelly said Trump’s comments had gone beyond O’Donnell and asked about his use of such insults on Twitter, Trump replied that he didn’t “have time for total political correctness.”

A review of Trump’s writings, televised interviews and Twitter feed show he’s long used harsh language to describe women — and occasionally men.

In tweets sent last year, Trump called Huffington Post editor Arianna Huffington “a dog who wrongfully comments on me” and said she is “ugly both inside and out!”

In 2012, Trump wrote on Twitter of singer Bette Midler: “But whenever she sees me, she kisses my ass. She’s disgusting.”

Trump has also said the same of men. “Little (at)MacMiller, I’m now going to teach you a big boy lesson about lawsuits and finance. You ungrateful dog!” he tweeted in 2013 at a rapper who wrote a song titled “Donald Trump.”

And to former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank in 2011: “Barney Frank looked disgusting — nipples protruding — in his blue shirt before Congress. Very very disrespectful.”

During the debate, Kelly also referenced a boardroom scene from Trump’s NBC’s realty show, Celebrity Apprentice, in which Trump was told by one contestant that a female teammate had gotten down on her knees to beg.

“That must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees,” Trump said in response.

In the book, Trump declared that, “All the women on The Apprentice flirted with me — consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.”

And he had this to say about women’s victories on the show: “It’s certainly not groundbreaking news that the early victories by the women on The Apprentice were, to a very large extent, dependent on their sex appeal.”

On some occasions Trump appears to have recognized he’s gone too far. In April, he retweeted, then deleted, a tweet that read, “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?”

NBC fires Donald Trump over his racist rant

NBC officials announced they’re ending a long business relationship with realtor and GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump because of hateful comments he made about Mexican immigrants during his kick-off speech.

After 12 years, the network said it would no longer air the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, which had been a joint venture between the company and Trump. This year’s edition was to be broadcast on July 12.

“At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values,” NBC said in a statement.

Trump testily replied that NBC should prepare to meet him in court — his go-to reaction whenever someone offends him.

NBC’s action comes less than a week after Univision also ditched Trump and his beauty pageants. Trump has also been a fixture on NBC as host of “The Apprentice” and its celebrity offshoot, and an agreement that he would no longer be on the show predated the current controversy. The network said that it and producer Mark Burnett are exploring ways to continue “Celebrity Apprentice” without “the Donald.”

Trump said he anticipated losing the business relationship and that he’s not apologizing for the statements he made trashing the character of Mexicans because they “were correct.”

In a statement issued by his company in New York, Trump said “NBC is weak, and like everybody else is trying to be politically correct. That is why our country is in serious trouble.”

Trump also took a shot at NBC’s decision to demote, but not fire, news anchor Brian Williams for telling false stories about some of the reporting he was involved in.

“They will stand behind lying Brian Williams, but won’t stand behind people that tell it like it is, as unpleasant as that may be,” he said.

During his presidential kickoff speech, Trump said Mexican immigrants are “bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people.” He called for building a wall along the southern border of the United States. Trump later said that his remarks were directed at U.S. policymakers, not the Mexican government or its people.

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a group of 39 Latino advocacy organizations, had called on NBC to get out of business with Trump. A petition advocating the break with Trump gathered more than 218,000 signatures on the Change.org website.

Dozens of protesters from immigrant and Latino rights groups  waited outside of a downtown Chicago restaurant where Trump spoke earlier today. Their chats included, “No more hate!”

Maritza Vaca, with the Chicago-based Accion Hispano, said Trump’s comments are pure “racism.”

“For him to be running for president is ridiculous,” she added.

NBC said it is still determining what it will air in place of the pageant next month. Miss USA drew 5.6 million viewers when it aired in June 2014, a full million more than the year before. That would have been a very good rating if it had been repeated, although television viewership in early July is usually lower than at any time of the year.